Phoenix, AZ – OpenTech Alliance, the leading developer of innovative smart-connected technology solutions for the self storage industry, has expanded the OpenTech Authorized Dealer program to include kiosks and access control in a continued effort to provide flexible buying options and long-term product support for storage operators, as well as increased business opportunities to preferred partners. International Controls & Equipment (I.C.E.), Michigan’s largest gate operator reseller serving the Metro Detroit area, received their Authorized Dealer certification this year and have already begun reaping the benefits of the program.
International Controls & Equipment’s partnership with OpenTech predates the dealer program – the company has served as an installation specialist for INSOMNIAC kiosks since 2014. Due to a recent expansion of the dealer program, they now have the opportunity to sell kiosks directly to storage operators as well. I.C.E.’s first project generated through the dealer program was tied to OpenTech’s cloud-based access control, INSOMNIAC CIA. I.C.E. received a direct referral to upgrade nine Amsdell Companies properties to the cloud-based system with a tight timeline. With news of other multi-property CIA deals spreading across the region, Thomas Bushe, General Manager and Operations Admin for I.C.E., knew it was in their best interest to expand their partnership with OpenTech.
“Your onboarding and owner setup are second to none. It was smooth, clean, easy to schedule and put together,” stated Bushe, speaking of their first install experience with CIA. “Possibly the simplest hands-on install we’ve ever had to do.” While the company also installs access systems from other manufacturers, they prefer the ease of installation that the INSOMNIAC CIA products provide.
With over 40 years experience field testing gate openers and security solutions (and 30 years in the self storage arena specifically), I.C.E. prides itself on distributing only what they believe to be the highest quality and economically priced equipment on the market. “One thing that makes CIA stand out,” stated Bushe, “is the quality of the system. I know how the system was developed – OpenTech looked at the products that were already available and bettered them. The high-quality housing, captive screws that don’t fall out in the snow, the inclusion of a key/contact for tamper-prevention on the keypad (especially when it’s on an unsecured part of the building) – are just some of several improvements that are great for storage owners and make it an easy sell for us.”
Another feature that differentiates OpenTech from the competition, according to Bushe, is the inclusion of the hands-free tenant app, Storage Genie. “One of the newest features operators expect with an access control system is a mobile app that grants contactless entry. OpenTech’s app is included at no additional cost – with all other systems on the market it’s not. That’s a great added feature, and a great value add – it’s a huge sell for operators.”
I.C.E. works with storage operators of all shapes and sizes, from single-store, small scale operations to multi-story, multi-builds designed from the ground up. “INSOMNIAC CIA is our cloud-based access control platform of choice – and we recommend it to operators when they call. The keypads are built well, look great and go in quick. On-boarding was great, and the hands-free app is just a bonus. We carry spare inventory so we can service anyone in this area. We do like to give a few options, but CIA is our product of choice.”
Since this initial deal, I.C.E. has installed multiple CIA systems across their service area – and has recently engaged in their first potential kiosk sale (a new opportunity for OpenTech’s dealers this year). As a veteran in the industry, they’ve seen multiple dealer programs come and go. “Some manufacturers sell direct to the user and leave it up to them to find an installer, so you’ll get stuck in a warranty battle down the road,” stated Bushe. “Serviceability becomes an issue eventually – some manufacturers will either cut the dealer out or keep them out from the outset. OpenTech doesn’t. Having a dealer-centric basis like OpenTech does is ultimately best for the end-user, and the industry as a whole.”
The OpenTech Authorized Dealer program provides opportunities for participating resellers to increase business as well as gain recurring revenue through long-term service agreements. As a member of this program, dealers receive access to an array of business-growth initiatives, including training (currently offered at no-cost), marketing resources, promotional opportunities, telephone technical support and guided customer engagement in new sales opportunities.